Montrose 0-0 Berwick Rangers

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Berwick were unable to take advantage of a sending off when they were held to a 0-0 draw by 10-man Montrose on Thursday.

Rangers travelled to Links Park hoping to bounce back from a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of leaders Peterhead.

Paul Grant was back between the posts, but Rangers were forced into a late change.

Dean Hoskins had been set to start at centre-back in place of the injured Stephen Tulloch, but he picked up a knock during the warm-up and reserve Jonny Fairbairn was called in to deputise.

Lewis Turner, recalled to the squad after his loan spell with Musselburgh Athletic, was on the bench.

The teams went into the game in seventh and eighth places respectively, separated by a solitary point, both looking for a victory which could have lifted them into the top half of the table.

In the first half Berwick had the better of the early play and Darren Lavery fired in a left-foot shot after six minutes which went over the bar.

Kenny O’Brien also got in a shot from outside the box whilst a second Lavery effort from the middle of the area was saved by Stuart McKenzie.

As Rangers continued to apply the pressure, forcing a series of corners, Fairbain headed wide from a corner and Ross Gray also managed to make his presence felt with a left-foot shot which he pulled wide.

Montrose came more into the game as the half-time whistle approached and their first meaningful efforts came from David Gray who shot over and Bryan Deasley who pulled an shot wide.

In the second half Montrose were reduced to ten men when Stuart Watson, who had been booked in the first half, was sent off by referee David Somers for unsporting behaviour after 68 minutes.

Montrose were not to be under-estimated however, and Gray had to clear one effort off the line.

As the game entered its final ten minutes, and both sides had made changes, Rangers again forced a series of corners, but they were unable to break the home defence down and the closest they got to finding a way through was when skipper Lee Currie shot high and wide with only four minutes remaining.

At the other end Grant, who had had a relatively quiet afternoon, had to get down well to save a late shot from Garry Wood in the corner.

As the final whistle approached Berwick again pressed and forced another two corners, Fairbairn seeing a header hit a post before being cleared off the line, but in the end they drew a blank.

Montrose: McKenzie, McInally, Campbell, Johnston, Bell (McIntosh 83), Johnstone, Webster (McCord 79), Watson, Gray, Wood, Deasley.

Berwick: Grant, Jacobs, Dunlop, Fairbairn, Gielty, Currie, Notman, Gray, 9 Dalziel, Lavery (Morris 85), O’Brien (Turner 78).

Referee: David Somers.

Attendance: 456.